H-Mart, West Loop, Chicago, New, Opening (2022)

The reign of Asian gourmet has arrived in the Chicago downtown neighborhood! For those who live in the downtown area and often shop for Asian food ingredients, H-Mart Supermarket opening in the West Loop area is as good as downtown living can get. H-Mart is not your everyday grocer, nor is it your mom and pop Asian grocer found in Chinatown or Argyle. It is a quality Korean supermarket chain that I am too well familiar of, coming from Texas where a large Asian population created demand for the grocer's expansion. Although not as large as the branches in Texas, the West Loop location boasts 1 bakery, 3 food court eateries, and a wide range of Asian ingredients to shop from, specifically Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Read on to get the scoop on this hot-off-the-press supermarket before you make a visit.

Contact Info

711 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 966-4666
Hours: Daily 9AM -9PM
http://www.hmartus.com/

Food Court

There are 3 vendors selling different style of snacks and meals.

  • So Gong Dong Tofu House & BBQ : Korean Tofu Soup, Bibimbap, and Bento Boxes with Korean BBQ
  • Izakaya Yume: Sushi, Poke Bowl, and Ramen
  • Baru: Korean fusion, healthy rice, and fried chicken

We initially sampled SGD's tofu soup and bibimbap. Ordering was quick and simple. We selected the dish, then the protein, and finally the spice level. Drinks offered were normal soda pop and juice. Each set came with 2 banchan and a bowl of rice. The banchans of the day was fish cake in sesame oil and fresh kimchi (non-sour one). The ingredients were fresh and presentation was clean, really nothing to rave of in terms of flavor. Perhaps next time we'll try Baru just to see how their interpretation of Korean fusion is like. Izakaya Yume would probably be a last option for us to try if ever.

Bakery

One of my favorite section at H-Mart, second to the beauty product section (yes! K-beauty and J-beauty!), is the bakery, Cafe L'Ami. A french themed boulangerie and patisserie displaying a wholesome row of fresh breads and glossy cakes. The breads are reminiscence of Pastry House Hippo at Mitsuwa Japanese Marketplace, carrying items such as Blueberry Danish, Korean Hot Dog, and milk breads (perfect for Shibuya honey toast!) As if that wasn't enough, the bakery also serves ice-cream, coffee, and Korean tea.

(Video) H Mart - Chicago West Loop - Grand Opening Day

The bakery is separated from the market place so you would either have to finish shopping your groceries and swing by on your way out, or skip to the dining hall near the exit passage way. Surprisingly, Royce Chocolate had a popup store right next to Cafe L'Ami. Not sure if it's going to turn into permanent thing but if you are craving for the decadent chocolate then you can count on their permanent store located on the Mag Mile at Nordstrom Northbridge.

White chocolate and cheese covered potato chips are divine! Royce is famous for their Nama chocolate squares but the potato chips are on another level. A must try!

Market

Now for the finale. I'll keep it short and simple. Even though this H-mart is limited in space, the chain manages to maximize their space and inventory effectively. After opening multiple branches and presumably some market research, the product selection seems to really hone in on what the folks living in the downtown area are likely to purchase. The store offers a variety of choices that are most relevant to the current consumer, personifying the busy student, the hard working corporate fiend, the curious foodie, or the amateur chef. If you don't have time to cook, there's a large selection of frozen food, instant noodle, marinaded meat, and banchan that you can live off of. Otherwise, if you're an amateur chef like Gus and I, surprisingly this store has unique ingredients that can sufficiently supply our frequent cooking experiments. Gus was even saying how his culinary exploration will explode after having access to this gate way of shopping heaven (more great recipes to be published soon!)

Here are the sections.

  • Fresh Cut Fruits
  • Asian Greens (Garlic chive, korean spinach, green papaya,enoki mushroom, yu choy)
  • American Greens (red leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce)
  • Root Vegetables & Fruits (Korean radish, taro, malanga, nagaimo, korean pears)
  • Imported Korean & Japanese refrigerated desserts (mochi and castella cake)

The vegetable section really hits home with me. There were so many choices that I could make dishes from at least 5 different Asian countries.

  • Sashimi and Fish Roe (Blue fin tuna sashimi, ikura salmon roe, flying fish roe)
  • Frozen Seafood & Fresh Seafood (Small neck clams, Mackerel, Chilean sea bass, Lobster @ $7.99/lbs as of 2/4/18)

How do you want your fish cut? The fish monger can help you prep your fish in different ways. Just look up at the sign!

(Video) A Beginner's Guide to America's Favorite Korean Grocery Store — K-Town

Awesome display of the full size blue fin tuna. Although this might be a smaller size compared to the ones at Tsukiji market in Japan, up close, this fish is still remarkably huge!

  • Frozen fish balls and meat balls
  • Fresh Meat (Shabu Shabu pork & beef, Pork belly slices, Kobe beef steak)

Perfect for creating your own a la carte hot pot. Why go to a hotpot buffet restaurant when you can have the same if not more variety of ingredients here.

  • Marinaded Raw Meat: Bulgogi, Kalbi, etc.(takeas much as you like, weigh it by the pound)

Korean BBQ at your finger tip. You know how expensive eating Korean BBQ out can be and at the same time you absolutely have no idea of the meat quality that your restaurant had sourced from. Well, cut the middle man and you can have an affordable Korean BBQ at home, quality controlled by H-Mart. From our past experience, the marinades have been flavorful so I highly recommend them.

(Video) A DAY IN CHICAGO TRAVEL VLOG: Chinatown, Downtown Chicago, H Mart Food Court | Chicago Travel Guide

  • Frozen Dumplings and Frozen Meals (Ajinomoto, Weichuan, Bibigo)
  • Sauces and paste from most Asian countries (gochuchang, miso, curry paste, soy sauce, hot sauce)
  • Instant Noodle (you know the drill...)

This is a great go-to section for those of you who lead busy lives and wish to not cook. My personal favorite brand for dumplings is Ajinomoto because of the quality and the on point seasoning (as expected of the brand that makes MSG). Although I did sample Bibigo dumpling while there and it was pretty good as well.

  • Fresh Banchan & Kimchi (Garlic stalk kimchi, cucumber kimchi, pickled radish)

I don't think I can list all of the banchans on the shelves. There's so many that my head was spinning. Not pictured here is a dedicated corner just for Kimchis and then across are all these banchans. I wouldn't say they are cheap but you pay for the convenience.

(Video) spicy crab onigiri from izakaya yume in the Hmart in West Loop Chicago
  • Alcohol (Large selection of Korean soju with brands featuringIU and Japanesesake)
  • Cooking appliances and plateware (portable gas stove, korean BBQ grill, rice cooker, banchan plates)

The alcohol section is right next to the cooking appliances. There's a little bit more sake selection around the corner in the refrigerated unit. Gus is obviously happy because this is one of his favorite section.

  • Beauty and skincare (korean facial masks, mostly Japanese body care and hair care products, some household Japanese cosmetics that you can get from Don Quijote or Matsumoto KiYoshi)

We totally adore Japanese hair care products. H-Mart offers competitive pricing for some of the items that we would normally order through Amazon that would ship from Japan. Mitsuwa is way overpriced so we're super glad that our shampoo is available for purchase at a reasonable price here rather than waiting 1 month for it to ship to our place.

One final note. I did notice that traffic waiting for a parking spot was bad, and the line spilled out into the main street. They do have a dedicated parking lot, but with the opening week crowd, it was crazy packed. It's probably better if you Uber here so you don't have to wait for parking.

Alright, well that sums up my review of H-Mart West Loop Chicago. All in all, Asians living in the downtown area are ecstatic that there's a closer option for grocery shopping other than Jewel Osco or Mariano's.There's tons of products to browse from and the first few weeks will be crowded like pictured below. If you have Asian friends, you might just accidentally bump into them because everybody who is anybody Asian will be there.

I'm super thrilled that this market has finally opened up after several years of rumors and hearsay. Interestingly, I've overheard locals who dropped by to see what the commotion was talked about how they thought this market will breathe a new life to the area. I personally think H-mart is a fantastic addition to the already diverse Downtown Chicago neighborhood. Not only is there a large number of Asians living and working in the area but also a growing appreciation for Korean and Japanese food trend that could catapult H-Mart into a favorite local spot for many years to come.

(Video) AMERICAN TRIES KOREAN SNACKS FOR THE FIRST TIME + Chicago HMart Haul | trying some spicy foods!

Happy Shopping!~

FAQs

Is H Mart Chinese or Japanese? ›

Many of these chains have a particular focus (H Mart's is Korean products), but also attempt the difficult feat of catering to a variety of Asian-American groups with different tastes and shopping preferences.

When did H Mart Chicago Open? ›

While Chicago's Korean-American population is scattered, with a Koreatown that's dwindled through the years, stores like H Mart can provide a culture center for certain populations. Seafood City provided a center for many Filipinos when it opened a Chicago location in 2016.

Is H Mart Japanese or Korean? ›

H Mart (Korean: H 마트 or 한아름 마트) is an American supermarket chain of Asian supermarkets operated by the Hanahreum Group, headquartered in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

What does H stands for in H Mart? ›

For those of you who don't know, H Mart is a supermarket chain that specializes in Asian food. The “H” stands for han ah reum, a Korean phrase that roughly translates to “one arm full of groceries.” H Mart is where parachute kids go to get the exact brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home.

What is H Mart famous for? ›

H Mart is the largest Asian supermarket chain in America and is the pioneer of Asian food in America. Starting in 1982 with a single store in Woodside, Queens, H Mart has grown to include more than 97 stores across the United States.

Does H Mart accept EBT California? ›

We do not accept:

Money Orders, Checks, Cash, Food Stamps, or any other payment method not listed above.

When did H Mart Niles open? ›

Enjoy shopping at H Mart! Established in 1982.

Is soju at H Mart? ›

Life is full of reasons to celebrate, and H Mart has the perfect selection of beverages to satisfy many occasions and meals. From Korean soju to Pacific Northwest wines, we have a wide and unique variety of beverages that will pair well with just about any global cuisine.

Who is crying in H Mart dedicated to? ›

While Crying in H Mart is dedicated to Chongmi, their mother–daughter bond wasn't always smooth sailing, a fact that would weigh on Zauner during her mother's illness. Their relationship faced heavy strain during her teen years over differences in outlook and adolescent rebellion.

What is the book crying in H Mart about? ›

Crying in H Mart revolves around Zauner's mother, Chongmi, and her deterioration and death from cancer. The memoir does not start with Chongmi directly, but rather her impact. The titular essay shows Zauner as an adult buying groceries at the Korean H Mart, overcome with emotion.

Does Florida have H Mart? ›

That's where Korean grocery chain H Mart will be opening its first store in Florida. The New Jersey-based company has confirmed that it plans to occupy the entire 183,894-square-foot, 17.9-acre Westland Terrace Plaza at 7501 W.

Is crying in H Mart a true story? ›

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir is a 2021 memoir by Michelle Zauner, singer and guitarist of the musical project Japanese Breakfast.

Does H Mart have Thai ingredients? ›

In addition to Korean everything, H Mart also carries many items for Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Filipino, and Central American cuisine.

Does H Mart sell Shaoxing wine? ›

I finally sniffed out the Shaoxing rice wine at the H Mart.

Is H Mart Chinese or Korean? ›

And for over 30 years, Hmart has worked its best to provide quality Korean food and service to communities throughout the U.S. We believe the excellence of our products, encourage our fellow Koreans to have profound pride and dignity in the magnificent culture of our motherland, South Korea.

Does H Mart have Thai ingredients? ›

In addition to Korean everything, H Mart also carries many items for Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Filipino, and Central American cuisine.

Who owns Super H Mart? ›

H Mart is a family business

Kwon, 66, remains CEO of the family business, which he runs with three co-presidents: his former wife Elizabeth Kwon and their two children, Brian and Stacey (via The New York Times).

Is H Mart coming to Quincy MA? ›

H Mart Quincy grand opening on August 4th, 2022 at 10:00 AM! America's No. 1 Asian Supermarket chain is opening in Quincy,MA. Enjoy the freshest produce, meat, seafood, Asian groceries, and housewares.

Videos

1. Shopping at Super H-Mart in Niles, Illinois
(Paj NTaub channel)
2. Michelle Zauner on "Crying in H Mart"
(CBS Sunday Morning)
3. Spicy Salmon Skins from HMart 🔥🔥🥵 #food #foodie #asianfood #hmart #chicago #love #comedy
(Mangos At Midnight Food Review)
4. H-Mart Korean Grocery Store & NYC KOREA TOWN WALKTHROUGH VLOG
(Be Natural With Shani)
5. First Time Visiting H-Mart Illinois USA
(Sannita Ri)
6. HMart Paramus Store
(Arman Hagos)

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